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Feminist Intersection: So when does an issue become feminist?

We've all heard about the continuous saga of human rights violations in Arizona, from legalizing racial profiling, to eliminating ethnic studies, to preventing anyone with an "accent" from teaching English (read: anyone who doesn't sound like an old white man from the eastern/northern states since I'm pretty sure we ALL have accents) and this extremely racist, oppressive, colonial, and cultural genocide list goes on.

What's been happening in Arizona is horrific on so many levels to so many people and communities – but it has really had me reflecting. When do certain issues get considered "feminist" and when do they not? And when do they require a real feminist response in action?

There have been several excellent female responses to the situation in Arizona by way of intersecting the impacts to women and children, sexuality, and even religion (read all of the amazing stuff the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is posting here), yet so much of the mainstream media we've been hearing is of course way too predictably patriarchal in nature; people making excuses for enacting racist legislation, utilizing fear-based tactics to legitimize white supremacy to "protect" the women and children, etc., etc.

So here I am responding to it and asking you frankly: Does an issue have to have an identified or presenting woman involved to truly be considered feminist? When abortion rights are threatened, we're out in the masses online and offline to protect them repeatedly, blog post after Facebook link, clinic defense after pro-choice club initiation, without question – and we certainly come together on it even if we disagree on tactics.

But what about when status, documentation, skin color, ethnicity, and culture are threatened? What's our feminist response to this? And how much or to what degree are we going to mobilize and do something the same way we would if the usual suspects (like sexual/reproductive health) came into play? (And no, I don't mean, "Oh look at this one blog post here on a feminist site about this" – I mean the same amount of feminist response that you would see on other issues. You know what I mean).

Or are we again going to leave this to the so-called "ethnic" groups to deal with?

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Comments

36 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Knock knock!

Q: So when does an issue become feminist?

A: I’m really sorry but this time….it’s not funny!

This is a really good

This is a really good question, and one that I perceive confronts many sub-groups of people like women, POC, gays and lesbians etc. in their efforts to organize. I think the question really comes down to, how to do you get a group of people who agree that an issue is important (i.e, feminists agree women's equality is important) to agree that another issue is also important and intimately related (i.e., immigration reform)? In practical terms, I think the difficulty in organizing people and being succinct about your message is where the "we'll leave this to them" response comes from. And, that's before we even start talking about the racism, or classism or homophobia that inevitably comes out when you try to bring related issues up. Ironically (potential misuse of irony warning), that response, that failure to be intersectional, does seems to isolate our voices to certain discussions. We become predictable and therefore easy to ignore.

Thanks -- and yes, it is.

Thanks for this article, Jessica. I live in Arizona and am dismayed by this. The outcry here has been strong, but I find it unbelievable that this law has appeared in this day and age...until I think back and realize that no, sadly, it's not.
WHEN does an issue become feminist? I think it's when equal human rights are violated or at a risk of being violated, be it based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other categorization, by which scale yes, this definitely is a feminist issue. I would hope any feminists who disagree with that assessment (though why, I don't know) would still agree that from a human rights standpoint, well...this shit cannot fly.
Thanks, also, for the first link, which outlines the problems with responding by "boycotting" Arizona. The people taking that action seem to mean well, but unless it's for one's personal safety, it's likely to be harmful, and not to the politicians.

Equality/Feminism

I wouldn't have guessed based upon the title of this post that it was headed where it went. I suppose as someone who resides at an intersection, as many other Bitch readers (and writers) do, I wouldn't ponder this question. I think it IS a good one, and when it comes down to it, my identity as a feminist is based upon not only equality for women, but Equality and Human Rights...period. So racial, ethnic, economic, orientation, (dis)ability issues ARE feminist issues for me. What would I be saying if I said, "Leave it for the ethnic groups to deal with?" Am I then saying ethnic is not feminist? When I respond to an issue, such as these atrocities in Arizona, I respond from a feminist standpoint....and a racial standpoint as a WOC...and a queer standpoint, etc.

To leave it to "another group" to deal with so a person as a feminist/feminist activist doesn't have to mobilize the way s/he would around another "obviously feminist" (whatever that may mean) issue takes quite the level of privilege that intersection dweller may not have anyway.

(Wow - that was way less eloquent than I mean it to be!)

The way I see it, feminism

The way I see it, feminism is a subset of egalitarianism in general. It may not be a specifically feminist issue -- that is, the reason for the issue's existence may not be directly related to the participants' being women -- but typically, people with feminist ideologies seem to hold those ideologies in the context of a broader egalitarian attitude, and as such, would only remain morally consistent by acting to remedy the issue.

l

Unfortunately, the way racism and gender have coincided has always left women in a more vulnerable position than men. When the state acts in a way that deprives a certain community from its right to economic opportunities, it combines with the idea of the man being the "bread winner of the house" and leaves women more dependent on men for financial needs. If a man is less likely to get employment then a woman is even less likely to get employment than the man. This further makes it possible for men to think that they "posses" women since they provide for them, increasing domestic violence, rape etc. Check out bell hooks to see how racism and gender have intersected in black communties.

So yes, this is very much a feminist issue!

Human rights, freedom, and

Human rights, freedom, and dignity, are all feminist issues whether we are talking about the right to an abortion or the right to live in this country. Thank you for starting a discussion about what is happening in Arizona. This is a huge problem, and its everyone's problem. At the may day march last weekend, there was a sign that said "Todos Somos Arizona" -- We are all Arizona. I believe this is true, no matter who you are.

the f word

For consistency and solidarity and basic Integrity; just as "The personal is political.", all "Human Rights Issues" are Feminist issues.

Sad but True

To answer this question: Does an issue have to have an identified or presenting woman involved to truly be considered feminist?

I think, in most feminists eyes, the answer is 'yes'. They'll give good lip service to tell you something to the contrary, and I'm sure they do have some allied stance, but one look at the media coverage and the activists who are organizing around issues like immigration shows how absent most self-identified feminists are from the conversation and the mobilization efforts when something isn't unequivocally woman-centered.

Suggestion

I have a suggestion about to deal with this issue... how about we actually focus on the legislative actions of the Arizona state government and attempt to understand how this ill conceived law affects the many HISPANICS that is harming instead of trying give feminism a claim to this issue, which in my opinion, just adds to the imperialist nature of this serious problem. Instead of spewing out generalities about how "skin color" and "culture" are being threatened, we have a serious dialogue about race AND immigration policies in America and how it is preventing us from obtaining any sort of social progress in this country? I don't distinguish racism from sexism from homophobia because they all come hand in hand. As feminists we should be aware of the discrimination we face as women, but that does not mean that we put a feminist spin on every single current event to brand it as patriarchal and therefore threatening to US as a unit of like minded people. Where is the empathy here?! Aside from that, this article is really just a hypocritical farce. I read bitch to be enlightened and refreshed with innovative reflections on our culture... not some pathetic blog entry written at about a 6th grade level. To me this is a very urgent and dynamic issue that should not be handed down to some intern, with all due respect. I find the last line especially offensive... as a feminist OF COURSE I will do everything in my power to spread knowledge about this corrupt state and secondly... are you insinuating that these "ethnic groups" are some how have no influence in our political sphere and need OUR infinite wisdom and power ( I'm assuming by "we" you meant feminists, but perhaps you meant well-educated, well-informed and possibly white?!) to grant them rights they so desperately need? To me, feminism denotes not only equality between the genders, but between all creeds, ethnicities, backgrounds etc. and current issues do not require some feminist approved patent in order for us to comment on them. We are still a marginalized minority, but I doubt a feminist will ever be pulled over because she has neglected to shave her pits or has some crude bumper sticker on her car. Please put things in perspective.

Another suggestion

@Gwynn

First off - I'm the author and I'm neither an intern, in grade 6, or white. I would suggest you read the author bio before implying those things.

Second - I try to write to be accessible with my language and all the issues raised so I don't need any criticism about that. Please read my first paragraph on how racist, colonialist, and effecting cultural genocide I feel what's going on in Arizona is.

I'm essentially calling out what I think you may be expressing yourself in your comment - I'm asking where is the amount of (perhaps mainstream?) feminist response to this to the same degree as say, abortion rights gets, in the blogosphere and beyond.

I'm absolutely in no way implying that the so-called "ethic groups" need our help and wisdom - I was sort of being sarcastic because I've heard many people say that the so-called "race groups" need to deal with this and everyone else should just sit on the side lines of privilege and watch. I was using the language of the mainstream media.

Feminist for some folks means human rights - so there are many different ways to take a stance here - but I'm extremely frustrated with what appears to be a lack of united response in the "feminist world" all together. That's what I'm saying and I'm asking different kinds of questions so we can think critically about what the hell is going on.

And to quote

And to quote my friend Melanie Stafford on what I'm trying to say here:

"The Arizona bullshit is racism in action, and the northern feminist movement has a shitty history with racism and colonialism.

So yes, of course this is a feminist issue. While we march towards another injustice that hurts our sisters, I'd encourage strong reflection on how we, ourselves, within our movement, perpetuate and gain from racist and colonialist ideas and actions."

Concession

I apologize for assuming that you were a white intern... I read your bio and was quite surprised. I also read your article (written far beyond the level of a sixth grader) about hipsters and the corporate exploitation of native cultures and I couldn't agree with you more. So, I'm sorry for making quick assumptions about your background, but sometimes it just seems that feminism has evolved into some sort of political past time for privileged white girls to indulge in. However, I do identify as a feminist and I feel that it does represent much more than that and that our dialogues should span across many issues, including immigration and public policy and not just reproductive rights. But be mindful of the fact that our core commonality is our anatomy... not our backgrounds, cultures or treatment by society and (since the enactment of sb1070) the government. But as a woman of color, it just seems like there are too few 3rd wave "ethnic" feminists putting their two cents in. It is my fault that I got defensive and prematurely assumed the role of the token brown girl, but to me this issue is just too alarming to be spoon fed to us by the mass media and butchered up in blogs. Contemplating whether it is the feminist's role to commentate on it, to me, is just absurd and counterproductive. Third wave feminism has never really formed a consensus issue on topics aside from abortion, gender and sexuality, but this law in my opinion is far more crucial for the time being. No, I don't have a problem with feminists discussing the issue but it's the idea that feminism has to make this Arizona issue their own, or that gender inequality must be at the root of the problem for us to talk about it that offends me. And, frankly, feminists get very LITTLE recognition by pop culture or the media (in fact most people think feminism equates man hating, bra burning veganism) so whatever agreement on this issue we did reach would have limited influence in the political sphere. We should unite as PEOPLE who are simply against racism and an unfair government as opposed to feminists who want to form complex social theories around headline stories.

"Sorry...but" doesn't cut it.

When making an apology, one shouldn't undercut one's request for forgiveness by offering justifications for one's false assumptions and poor behavior. Nor should the apology be used as a platform for further complaint, which also serves to decrease the perception of the apology's sincerity.

The purpose of an apology should simply be to express regret and indicate an attempt to change one's future actions--not to defend oneself, which is what I am reading here.

Sorry... but

Sorry my apology didn't meet your expectations, but it wasn't directed to you, therefore it really doesn't have to meet your standards on what a proper apology should be. I appreciate your commentary though, you've truly enlightened me.

Wow.

More defense and derisiveness? Really?

Well, that is a shame.

Except that she is right.

Except that she is right. And even if her apology is a fauxpology, it isn't up to you to accept or critique it, being that it wasn't yours to accept. You were not the offended party. It is up to the person whom she jumped on (Jessica) to accept or not accept. She has now acknowledged that you have 'splained this apology bit to her, and moved back to the discussion, and if Jessica chooses to come back and acknowledge the bad apology, then it isn't really any of your business. I don't see why you had to jump back into a personal attack. That really is the shame here, on what is an excellent post by Jessica, where you haven't added anything else except a nice derail.

You can do one of two things; just shut up, which is something I don't find easy, or learn an awful lot very fast, which is what I tried to do. ~ Jane Fonda

You can do one of two things; just shut up, which is something I don't find easy, or learn an awful lot very fast, which is what I tried to do. ~ Jane Fonda

Again

@Gwynn

Again, my post is not saying "turn this into a feminist issue!" necessarily. I'm asking where the response is to this to the same degree other things get in the feminist blogosphere and beyond. Perhaps I'm asking people to subvert their power and privilege. I'm not "contemplating" anything - I'm asking people what they think and asking a number of questions so we can again, think critically about what's going on.

RIGHT ON SISTER!!!

We should unite as PEOPLE who are simply against racism and an unfair government as opposed to feminists who want to form complex social theories around headline stories.

Hi Gwynn, As you can read in

Hi Gwynn,

As you can read in Jessica's responses to you, she is neither an intern (though we have great respect for our interns here and they do in fact blog about serious issues) nor a 6th grader nor is she white. However, even if she were a white 6th grade intern, you are still agreeing with many of her points and calling for a feminist response to this issue. Does that mean "ethnic groups" can't handle things on their own? Of course not, though many members of those "ethnic groups" are also feminist–the two are not mutually exclusive. Should feminists still pay attention to and respond to this issue for the reasons that Jessica outlines in her post? I think so.

However, even if you disagree with Jessica, she deserves your respect as a Bitch blogger and I'm sure she doesn't appreciate being compared to a 6th grader (even though many 6th graders are really smart).

Kelsey Wallace, Web Editor

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

When Gender Politics hit the wall

This is what happens when you expend huge amounts of energy trying to help half the population. When real problems come about you realize that you gender specific politics can't identify with issues that really matter. Good Job!

"Real problems"?

@Anonymous,

It's great that you see the issues in Arizona as requiring a feminist response, but I disagree with your assertion that gender politics don't matter or that if an issue mainly affects women that it isn't a "real problem." It's attitudes like that–when directed at women, POC, disabled folks, etc.–that allow situations like what's happening in Arizona to continue in the first place, isn't it? They are all "real problems" that deserve our attention.

Kelsey Wallace, Web Editor

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

Feminism

Maybe it's just me, but I feel that feminism is changing. There are new feminists that aren't just advocating equality for women, but equality of EVERYONE. That means that gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and even environmental issues ARE feminist issues. I think by making feminism more all encompassing, it will lose its bad rep in mainstream society. I think that's the fear most people have, that feminism is too limiting and categorical. Of course, it isn't supposed to be, but that's what many people think it is. I believe strongly that feminism in my life- as well as many other young peoples lives, is less about focusing only on women's issues, but issues of equality for everyone. A girl in my class today an interviewed artist, gosh I forget her name but she does installations where she creates really hard obstacles and tries to overcome them- while wearing a lovely dress and high heels, always, and this artist said that feminism is about RESPECT. And that she belives most women are feminist but the key is to respect EVERYONE, that's what feminism is really about. And I really like that. I think feminism is moving more towards a focus on respect and equality of everyone, not just empowering women.

Real Problems are

THE REAL ISSUES:

1.) The massive conglomeration of multinational corporations. The 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations while only 49 are countries.
http://www.globalissues.org/issue/50/corporations

2.) How these corporations are ruining our earth and enslaving the masses.
http://www.hulu.com/watch/118169/the-corporation

3.) The income disparity of the top 10% of our population. The top 10% own 71% of the wealth and 90% of stocks.
http://extremeinequality.org/?page_id=8

4.) Oppressive governments as the enforcer of these corporations along with mass imprisonment. 2.5 million in prison in the U.S.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_incarceration_timeline-clean.svg

THE Feminist's ISSUES:

1.) unequal pay between men and women.

2.) Domestic Violence and Rape.

3.) Abortion

4.) The roles of women valued the same as the roles of men.

I come from a giant family of left-wing liberals. All of these issues are anti-liberal but with the division of resources we are hopeless in conquering or changing our situation. Too much energy, resources and legislation has been expended on issues that help half the population and in turn, leave the real problems forgotten.

Part of the mechanics of oppressing people is to pervert them to the extent, that they become the instruments of their own oppression. Dividing and conquering is the objective of the powers at be. As long as the bottom 90% keep fighting among each other for the scraps we cannot muster enough strength to get a larger share of the pie. in short FEMINISM IS DIVIDING US!!!!

Seriously, you don't see how

Seriously, you don't see how corporatism and selective incarceration are related to issues of gender, race, and class? Not even in unequal pay for women?

Also, are those really the only issues you think feminism is concerned about?

Everything you mentioned is important, and it's all connected.

Yep

Short, sweet, to the point, and absolutely correct. These are all intersecting connected issues.

IMHO, it's helpful to focus on them in that way so we don't lose the context, and so that we don't lose some of the grave realities we face. Just to provide one example, corporate domination has been enabled, in part, by the mass outsourcing of labor to poor POC. And yes, these bodies are gendered, and that is significant. Men and women both experience the negative effects of corporate dominance, and no one's struggles should be downplayed on the basis of their gender. However, the effects of gender MUST be considered in certain labor situations. For example, how do perceptions of poor Mexican women contribute to the violence they experience as Maquiladora workers? How do allegations of promiscuity and ideas surrounding improper or "promiscuous" femininity effect the victims of femicide in Juárez? How does our current consumer culture implicate us in these deaths?

This is just an imperfect, rattled off string of questions, but they are "real" interrogations into "real" problems. Sometimes we have to separate issues to understand them better, but who gets lost when we ignore all of the intersections? Who gets erased?

PS-I would like to take this time to note that I intend to harm or insult no person with any of my posts. This thread seems to have a lot of ill will and tension, and I hope no one takes my own comments as a desire to contribute to that. Let's have meaningful conversations.

@Annonymous Seriously, you

@Annonymous
Seriously, you don't see how corporatism and selective incarceration are related to issues of gender, race, and class? Not even in unequal pay for women?

______________________________________

Why are white(male and female) working class and black(male and female) working class and latino(male and female) working class not banded together?

Because separation is a powerful tool in keeping us ALL OPPRESSED. The lower down the economic ladder the more likely the white person is likely to be racisist because this is the only way he can hold on to status. "At Least I'm not black".
(PART 1: 42 min) http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/racism-history/

Racism, Gender differences are just tools that enforce classism, colonialism, corporatism, capitalism. You can call it what you want. It's the exact same thing since the beginning of civilization they just keep changing the name. It's a battle between two different theories of thought.

One camp US: (most people)

Believe that all are created equal and deserve a chance to live a free and fair existence without rulers.

The Other Camp: (them)

Believe that one set of people are inherently better than another set of people(the lower class). They believe the lower class would be lost without the inherently better to rule them . This line of thinking dates back to Aristotle and Rome and the beginning of civilization as we know it. These people believe that they have a right to slaves(workers).

-They justify the right to own slaves by using science through eugenics they attempt to prove racial inferiority. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilKUxWbGQj4

-They justify the right to own slaves by using science through Darwinism.

-But really they use race to divide the working class so they can't ever come together against them.

What I'm saying is feminism (which the same people rockefeller created) is another form of division they are using to keep us from coming together. As you can see feminism is NOT WORKING nor is any other movement. Why are these movements not working? why? Because everyone has their head in the sand fighting for their little section of IDENTITY politics but they don't look up and realize the REAL PROBLEM. Were all their slaves!

Derailer Alert!

Hey everyone,

These comments who created feminism or who is or isn't included on which team when we talk about us vs. them are getting a little bit off topic. If you don't have a comment that is specifically about Jessica's post (i.e., thoughts about a feminist response to the situation in Arizona) then please save your comments for a different forum.

Thanks!

Kelsey Wallace, Web Editor

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

It is merely an explanation

It is merely an explanation behind the racist ideology that the group who wrote the bill have. So says rachell maddow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilKUxWbGQj4

I think, in a way, this makes my point.

I think, in a way, this makes my point.

Please note that at no point did I suggest that any of the problems mentioned were not a "real problem" At no point did I suggest they were less *significant* or less worthy of action. I simply listed them as less *directly* feminist.

To me, this is important. When we lose the power to define ourselves, we lose the power to be ourselves.

If we say that "all issues are feminist" it is in practical terms the same as saying that no issues are specifically or uniquely feminist. If "feminist" is to be considered neither less nor more nor to any degree distinguished from "progressive" - then the term has no meaning and feminism as a unique and *defined* term ceases to exist.

Whereas, from the way I approach it, one can be a feminist who is *working* in the issue of "disabled folks" or a feminist who is *working* in the issue of POC. Said feminist may even herself be a disabled woman of color living in Arizona. I believe it is possible to take on all these issues without absorbing their separate demands into feminism, and without diluting the meaning of feminism by defining it to include those actions which - while valid and worthy and so also to be done - may be better defined by other terms.

To go back to the idea of the baseball player? If I am a baseball player, I would of course rally to support soccer players againt... let us say... a developer who wished to pave over their soccer field. But in doing so, I would say "I do this because as a baseball player I know it is right to do" and not "I am a player just like you, and there really is no importance difference in our game needs." I can support soccer without denying my baseball identity.

I hope this is understood in the positive spirit that I intend. Thank you.

MUST we be only feminists?

I think much of the 'this is so a feminist issue' debate comes from the (IMO false) assumption that if a any issue a feminist cares about must be therefore a feminist issue, and any issue not labeled feminist must thus not be of value or interest.

The logical error there is obvious. Also unfortunate.

I think we should be able to differentiate between issues that are truly *feminist* ( as in those with a primary impact to the female-identified population generally, such as abortion rights ), those that are *of feminist interest* ( as in those that impact all populations, but may stress the female-identified population with greater impact, such as ... for an example... body shaming) those issues that *overlap with feminist thought* (such as ... for an example... gendered bias against persons who do not identify as female) and those issues that are *impacted by a feminist worldview* (I would put the current immigration debate as an example here.)

I do not say that the latter three areas should not be of high interest to feminists. What I am saying is that we should be able to express our interest and act in these areas without having to justify our right to be involved by subsuming it into the identity of feminism.

To use a humorous ( I hope) analogy? If I am a baseball player, I would support building baseball diamonds. I would also be into sports generally, so I would probably also support building a soccer arena. Given that both are played outdoors, I would also have a strong interest in maintaining public parks with picnic areas. All these would be my valid interests. But! I would clearly be 'off base' if I insisted that therefore picnic tables are a *part* of baseball.

Like a baseball player urging the park department to build picnic tables, so as a feminist I should feel comfortable with supporting the other causes and actions I believe in. Being a feminist is a part of my identity, but it does not confine my identity. I can care about other things as well.

Feminist Issues

I think bell hooks answered this question best when she defined feminism as "a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression".

SB1070 and those the two other AZ laws you discussed are OPPRESSIVE, and that means feminists need to get bothered and get rid of them whether or not they've convinced themselves yet these are "women's issues". Because really, racism is a "women's issue" because it negatively impacts us, women of color and white women, albeit in entirely different ways and to incomparable extents. And ultimately, there is no such thing as a "woman's issue" because we all have brothers, and fathers, and male friends and our issues are their issues by merit of their caring about us.

Keep asking these essential questions Jessica and keep holding us and the feminist movement accountable. I love your writing and greatly appreciate the work you do.

The goal of feminism is to

The goal of feminism is to fight oppression. When one person is oppressed (whether they are female-bodied, woman-identified, or not female/woman at all), everyone in the world is oppressed. An issue becomes a feminist issue when people are being treated unfairly because of who they are or how they identify. That's because if one person is prevented from being who they are, it makes the world that much less safe for the rest of us to self-identify.

If you all need a woman to be involved in order to take a stand, then how about this: Whenever someone male-bodied, masculine-identified, or gender-queer is oppressed, I consider it a personal affront to myself. I am a woman. Therefore, there is always a woman involved, so oppression is ALWAYS a feminist issue. Period.

Equality NOW!

This issue becomes feminist when we realize that equality is a feminist issue. This means racial as well as gender equality.

There are women who want to come to this country for a better life. We need to stand up as women and tell the governor of Arizona that this draconian law will not stand.

This is why I am writing my book on fundraising, to help women all over the world achieve gender and racial equality.

Mazarine
http://wildwomanfundraising.com

Racism and Profeminism

Thanks for asking this. It is a perennial question for me, and it is so good to see it asked, out loud, in a social space. Jessica, may I cross post this question, your whole post above, to my blog, being sure to link back to it here?

I can only speak to this as "when does an issue become a profeminist one?"

I believe it was Andrea Dworkin who stated, succinctly, "If it hurts women, feminists are against it."

As I have learned from you and so many other feminists and womanists over the years the importance of centralising the experiences and conditions oppressing women of color, locally and internationally, as my work, as what my attention ought to be focused on, guiding and informing my pro/feminist practice and actions. I think if any social force, institution, system, law, policy, custom, practice, attitude, or value harms or hurts women of color, it is a profeminist issue.

My thinking then follows: to what degrees and in what ways are Latina, Chicana, Black, and Indigenous women and girls negatively impacted by what AZ Governor Jan Brewer is supporting? How are other women and girls of color and marginalised ethnicities and cultures, including white women and girls, negatively impacted by Arizona's State-sponsored directly anti-Latina/Indigenous immigration policies? For which women is immigration a matter of life and death, of terror and trauma (and not only that)? On this issue, these are the people I want to appropriately visibilise and responsibly support in profeminist ways, which means, to me, being clear about any populations of harmed human beings are impacted as girls and women.

You speak so much truth...

What happens in Arizona is not happening in a vacuum. Other states have jumped on board with copycat laws. We can't just bury our heads and pretend that this isn't going to impact people on a larger scale. It hurts women and children.

As to your question, the Mainstream will address an issue and move on to whatever reproductive rights debacle hits their radar next, ignoring that this issue in Arizona (or whatever issue we are discussing at the time) impacts women and children (or other marginalized groups) greatly. It is up to us, those of us who make up the Third Wave, or the Intersectional Feminists/Womanists or whatever we identify as to keep pushing when issues affect our lives.

Mainstream feminism is having a hard time incorporating the margins. It is going to take those of us who are in the margins yelling loudly, like you do, to get them to remember that the Third Wave was started by the margins as a response to being forgotten and stepped on by the Mainstream. Maybe we don't need the Mainstream, maybe we just need each other and our own voices to be louder.

You can do one of two things; just shut up, which is something I don't find easy, or learn an awful lot very fast, which is what I tried to do. ~ Jane Fonda

You can do one of two things; just shut up, which is something I don't find easy, or learn an awful lot very fast, which is what I tried to do. ~ Jane Fonda